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Category: New Questions

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Photography Question 
Pete petersen

member since: 1/19/2006

Faster Focusing Lens?

I'm shooting basketball games (available light only required), using a Nikon D70, a Nikkor 85mm 1.4D lens, ISO 1600, speed of 1/500, and aperture 1.4. If I prefocus for under-basket shots, I can get some good pics. However, if I try to pick up action at half court coming toward me, I don't get clear pictures. I hear the camera seaching for focus as the player runs. I feel I need a lens that can focus quicker.

4/25/2006 3:53:48 PM

Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 7/17/2003
  Try manually pre-focusing onto a particular spot at half-court. Then wait for the action to arrive there.

4/25/2006 4:27:17 PM

Paul Tobeck
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 12/19/2005
  I don't believe the problem is your lens, the 85mm Nikkor should be top of the line fast focus-wise. The problem could be that there is not enough ambient light to provide the contrast needed for the autofocus to lock on, especially if you shoot in continuous focus mode. Try keeping the cross sensor on the players jersey numbers as they should contrast well with the jersey color. If that doesn't work, try switching to single shot mode and concentrate on the player that you anticipate will get the ball (anticipation is 2/3rds of the game of sports shooting) If that doesn't work, then you'll have to pick your spots and prefocus as Bob suggested.

5/4/2006 3:49:42 AM

Craig m. Zacarelli
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 2/3/2005
  dont you have a "Sports" mode? if so, that should boost the ISO if need be, and throw the focus mode into Ai servo and keep your focus point on the center and be sure to keep the center focus point on the target and shoot at your fastest frame rate you have. I have recently started doing this with my Canon 30D and it works like a charm..only problem is, it shoots jpeg only in sports mode... so I have to try it in AV or TV mode with ai servo to see if its any better or worse!
good luck!

5/4/2006 9:58:22 AM


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